From the Marbles - NASCAR

Few surprises unveiled in release of 2012 NASCAR schedule

NASCAR released its 2012 Sprint Cup schedule at noon on Wednesday in a flurry of publicity and a Twitter live Q&A, of all things, and for those fans who are sick of change, this was your moment: the 2012 sked looks almost exactly like the 2011 one.

Sure, there are a few dates changed here and there. The Daytona 500 will run on Feb. 26, the first time it hasn't run on Presidents Day weekend in four decades. Phoenix and Vegas will run a week later. Daytona's summer event and Kentucky will switch dates. And Texas will run a week later in the spring.

Kansas Speedway is the only real change; as it's undergoing a repaving next year, its spring date moves from June to April, and its fall date will be switched with that of Talladega. Here is the complete 2012 Cup schedule:

2/18 Daytona International Speedway (Shootout) FOX
2/19 Daytona International Speedway (Daytona 500 Qualifying) FOX
2/23 Daytona International Speedway (Duel) SPEED
2/26 Daytona 500 FOX
3/4 Phoenix International Raceway FOX
3/11 Las Vegas Motor Speedway FOX
3/18 Bristol Motor Speedway FOX
3/25 Auto Club Speedway FOX
4/1 Martinsville Speedway FOX
4/14 Texas Motor Speedway FOX
4/22 Kansas Speedway FOX
4/28 Richmond International Raceway FOX
5/6 Talladega Superspeedway FOX
5/12 Darlington Raceway FOX
5/19 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (Charlotte Motor Speedway) SPEED
5/27 Charlotte Motor Speedway FOX
6/3 Dover International Speedway FOX
6/10 Pocono Raceway TNT
6/17 Michigan International Speedway TNT
6/24 Infineon Raceway TNT
6/30 Kentucky Speedway TNT
7/7 Daytona International Speedway TNT
7/15 New Hampshire Motor Speedway TNT
7/29 Indianapolis Motor Speedway ESPN
8/5 Pocono Raceway ESPN
8/12 Watkins Glen International ESPN
8/19 Michigan International Speedway ESPN
8/25 Bristol Motor Speedway ABC
9/2 Atlanta Motor Speedway ESPN
9/8 Richmond International Raceway ABC
9/16 Chicagoland Speedway ESPN
9/23 New Hampshire Motor Speedway ESPN
9/30 Dover International Speedway ESPN
10/7 Talladega Superspeedway ESPN
10/13 Charlotte Motor Speedway ABC
10/21 Kansas Speedway ESPN
10/28 Martinsville Speedway ESPN
11/4 Texas Motor Speedway ESPN
11/11 Phoenix International Raceway ESPN
11/18 Homestead-Miami Speedway ESPN

Broadcast-wise, we're looking at a similar routine as well: the first 13 races on Fox, the next six on TNT, and the final 17 on ESPN/ABC. Speed will cover the Duels at Daytona and the All-Star Race. There are no start times yet; those will be announced later.

Also later will be the Nationwide and Trucks schedules, which are likely to have more significant changes than the Sprint Cup level.

Food for thought: it's less than five months to the 2012 Daytona 500.

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